Microsoft's famed Word Flow keyboard is coming to iOS

Discussion in 'iOS Software' started by Rafagon, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    I've never used it, but it's supposed to be great.

    We've already got Outlook and Cortana on iOS, and now Word Flow is joining them. Microsoft has sent out e-mails to some Windows Insiders to invite them to beta-test the keyboard.

    Have you used the Word Flow keyboard on Windows Phone before? How was your experience?

    Word_Flow_Shape_Writing.jpg
    (Picture courtesy Windows Central)
     
  2. Napoleon PhoneApart

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    Swype is a famed keyboard as well and doesn't work too well on the iPhone. I'll believe Word Flow is a decent keyboard after I try it.
     
  3. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    I never have been a fan of Swype or other swipe/flow keyboards. SwiftKey has it, but I keep that feature disabled. I prefer the predictive keyboard. Works great for me. I have the stock keyboard deleted.
     
  4. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    The Verge has shared some photos of Microsoft's upcoming iOS "Word Flow" keyboard.

    Of note is the special design of the one-handed mode, which features keys arranged in an arc around either the left- or the right-hand side of the device so righties and lefties can type with equal proficiency:

    Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.01.57 PM.png
     
  5. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    I've seen that design on some 3rd party keyboards.
     
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  6. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Microsoft's "Word Flow" keyboard for iPhone has launched in the U.S. App Store.

    I’m not a big fan of third-party keyboards (I don’t currently use a single one), but I’ll probably give this one a try, play with it for a few minutes, then delete it.
     
  7. besweeet

    besweeet Contributor
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    I typically use the Swype keyboard as my primary, but the one-hand feature in Word Flow is actually fantastic. Uninstalled Swype.
     
  8. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Here are some early thoughts on this third-party keyboard. Keep in mind I’ve used it a total of one or two hours tops.

    I definitely love it for the “eye candy” aspect. It has some decent built-in themes and it lets you make new ones with ease. I love spectrums so I used a photo of one to make the following custom keyboard. It was a piece of cake:

    mskeyboard.png

    As you’re creating your theme, you get fine-grain control over the color of the letters of the keys:

    IMG_1313.PNG

    If you’ve typed out an entire pagraph and have to go back, the delete-backspace key gets the job done quite quickly. More quickly than the stock keyboard, although I haven’t run any kind of scientific test to verify this.

    As far as function, though, I found that many typos went unchecked. My typing accuracy (or rather, the accuracy of the algorithms which keep my typing output accurate even when my actual typing isn’t) suffered considerably. I was typing some text to a friend and I got frustrated at the number of typos that went unchecked so I had to switch back to the stock keyboard to complete what I was typing more efficiently.

    I would like to see even more customization options. Why not allow customization of the key-click sound? What if, instead of actual key “clicks," I want to hear a cat’s meow every time a type a letter? Not the same exact meow each time, mind you—I’d like to get different meows with each keystroke, randomly selected. Maybe an angry meow from a cat with a deep voice at times, and a happy meow from a cat with a high-pitched voice others. Also, throw in a cat hissing every once in a while.
     
  9. Rafagon

    Rafagon Genius
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    Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard continues to perform inferiorly to the built-in iOS keyboard vis-à-vis the spelling correction and predictive text functions, even after the recent update.

    And now that the built-in iOS keyboard can spell-check and provide predictive text in more than one language simultaneously, the clear choice for productivity is the built-in iOS keyboard.

    However, for looks, Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard is the clear winner. Below is a recent keyboard I created. I switch to it sometimes because it’s so attractive, but then get frustrated with its performance and have to switch back to the built-in iOS keyboard. If Apple ever decided to add customization options like the “wallpaper” I used below, I’d truly get the best of both worlds.

    IMG_2993.PNG

    Do these third-party keyboards not have access to the same spell check/predictive text engine as iOS keyboards?
     
  10. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    The only thing Word Flow does that SwiftKey does not, is offer background pics on the keyboard. SwiftKey is still the smartest keyboard. I've tested it several times against all the major 3rd party keyboards as well as the stock.
     
  11. Napoleon PhoneApart

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    I also prefer SwiftKey to other keyboards I've tried, including Swype.

    I don't need pictures as a background on my keyboard, either.
     
  12. up10ad

    up10ad Genius
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    I've tried the MS, SwifyKey and Swype and still prefer GBoard (iTunes link). It has the Swype/SK feature to type without lifting, as well as cursor control by swiping around after starting on the spacebar. It supports background themes and quick selection of emoji, images & info from the web and gifs. It has become my favorite. I do wish Apple would allow use of the dictation feature for 3rd party keyboards though. IMG_0259.JPG
     
    #12 up10ad, Oct 10, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  13. Napoleon PhoneApart

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    I will try your GBoard, Stranger from the Digital Wilderness.
     
  14. up10ad

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    Stranger? I'm here pretty regularly and was in your area a few months ago, making sure my old stomping grounds were still there.
     
  15. Napoleon PhoneApart

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    I think you missed my meaning. :)
     

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